Saturday, November 12, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 12

November 12, 1910 – William E. Satterlee, according to official returns, defeated by 34 votes for Minneapolis mayor as the Republican candidate, today filed an application for the opening of the voting machines and a recount with the clerk of the district court. He asks that three persons be appointed by the court to take charge of the recount.

William E. Satterlee1

 Many grounds are alleged in the application; most of them pertaining to alleged errors in the returns. Satterlee claims that in a great many instances the figures on the official returns as opened by the canvassing board differ from the total number of votes registered on the machines. Most of them differ by one or two votes, but there are many of them.

He further charges that owing to the size, color, location of the machines and poor lighting of the polling places, there was every chance of irregularity, fraud and mistakes. He also charges that some of the judges were illiterate, incompetent, unaccustomed to dealing with figures, poor penmanship and that some of them were too old for the work, one being more than 80-years-old.

Some of the judges, he says, were drunk all or part of the day and they were bitterly partisan and talked of their views of the merits of the candidates in so loud tones that the voters were influenced to vote against Satterlee. He cites that there were fully 30 errors found by the canvassing board in comparing the preliminary and official returns, and says that he is sure he was entitled to at least a thousand more votes.

Satterlee’s most serious charge is made in connection with the judges and voting in the Fifteenth Precinct of the Fourth Ward. This is the precinct that always before had its polling place in the old city hall, but this time was moved to 38 Seventh Street South. He alleges that Democratic Judge Scallon was intoxicated when he arrived at the polling place in the morning and had a supply of whiskey with him that he offered to the Republican and Prohibition judges.

At times, Satterlee alleges, Scallon would go into booths with voters and work the machines for them himself. Again, upon voters’ arrival, Scallon would advise them to vote for Mr. Haynes, shouting to them “Haynes was all right.” Satterlee received 77 votes, and feels sure he was defrauded out of at least 35 votes there.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Defeated Candidate Asks for a Recount. Mr. Satterlee Makes Sensational Charges in His application. He Accuses Several Election Judges of Illiteracy and Drunkenness. He Declares His Plurality for Mayor Should Reach 1,000.”; November 13, 1910; p. 1.


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